Back to Work for the Cubs

While the Phillies and Yankees continue to battle it out to see which team wears the ring (Yankees up three games to one), the Chicago Cubs will get to work on the 2010 campaign this week.

The Cubs’ brass will hold their annual organization meetings in Mesa, the first with Tom Ricketts in attendance. With the GM meetings just around the corner (November 9-11 in Chicago), the Cubs will discuss their plan of attack for getting the team back in the post-season next year.

The next three and a half months figure to be anything but boring on the North Side and as Bruce Miles put it, the first of a long series of farfetched rumors centered around Milton Bradley have already hit the mill …

Tom Ricketts

The Cubs’ new owner spoke with NPR on Friday and then again on Saturday morning.

Here is the link to the interview on NPR from Friday.

Mr. Ricketts also spent time with NPR Saturday morning. The Cubs’ chairman reiterated many of the same points as he did multiple times on Friday.

From NPR:

“The real key for consistent performance and trying to win the division every single year is developing our own players. You’ve got to draft the right people and you’ve got to have scouts and coaches that are coordinated and working together to turn the right players into real producers at the major league level.”

Mr. Ricketts continued his praise of Lou Piniella and contends he is “one of the best managers in baseball.” As for Jim Hendry, Mr. Ricketts seemed to soften his stance a little on the Cubs’ GM. “We are going to give him the opportunity to put us over the hump next year in 2010.

Link to the audio of the interview on NPR with Tom Ricketts

RickettsLetter.jpg
Copy of the letter sent out to season ticket holders on Friday
(click on image to enlarge)

Non-Tenders

Buster Olney thinks there will be a flood of non-tenders on the open market this winter. “The financial restructuring that has been occurring across the landscape is about to hit the arbitration-level players like a tidal wave.

From Buster Olney:

“Executives say many of the names being discussed by teams as possible trade bait include a growing number of players with three to five-plus years of service time — players who are eligible for arbitration. This is widely being read as a precursor to a wave of players in that group not being tendered contracts before the Dec. 12 deadline. “I think the market will get flooded with non-tenders,” opined a veteran executive.”

Buster Olney reportedthe arbitration process is now outdated” according to one “highly ranked executive” he spoke with recently. Players can get more money from arbitration in some cases then from free agency.

Olney was told to expect “dozens of young players with three, four and five years of major league experience” to be released instead of offering arbitration in the next 40 days. “Not a handful, but dozens.

Milton Bradley

The Cubs shot down the Milton Bradley-for-Vernon Wells rumors that surfaced on Saturday morning. The Cubs are trying to deal Bradley despite the fact Ryan Dempster told the Tribune the Cubs would welcome Bradley back to the clubhouse.

Arizona Fall League

The Mesa Solar Sox had Sunday off, but Starlin Castro continued to hit the ball on Saturday.

Cubs’ Prospects Stats in Winter Ball

The MLB Network will televise two games from the AFL in Novemberthe Rising Stars Game from Surprise Stadium on November 7 and the AFL Championship Game from Scottsdale Stadium on November 21.

2009 – 2010 Off-Season Baseball Calendar

November

4 – 25th Annual Cubs Convention Tickets Go on Sale
9 – 11 – General Managers meetings in Chicago, Illinois
10 – End of Waiver period
11 – Beginning of New Waiver period
20 – Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels
30 – December 4 – Major League Baseball Players Association executive board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona

BBWAA Awards – All Award winners announced at 2:00pm E.S.T.

16 – NL and AL Rookie of the Year
17 – AL Cy Young Award
18 – NL and AL Manager of the Year
19 – NL Cy Young Award
23 – AL Most Valuable Player
24 – NL Most Valuable Player

December

1 – Last date for former club to offer salary arbitration to ranked XX(B) free agents in order to be eligible for compensation. Deadline is midnight eastern
1 – 2009 Hall of Fame Ballot Released
4 – Last day to request outright waivers to assign player prior to the Rule 5 Draft
7 – Last date for players who declared free agency under Art. XX (B) to accept arbitration offer from former club. Deadline is midnight eastern.
7 – 10 – Baseball Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana
10 – Rule 5 Draft
12 – Last day to tender contracts. Deadline is midnight eastern

2010

January

5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
6 – BBWAA Hall of Fame voting announced
15 – 17 – 25th Annual Cubs Convention
19 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures

February

1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
15 – End of Waiver Period
16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
23 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players

March

2 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
17 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
31 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary

April

4 – Active Rosters Reduced to 25 players
4 – MLB Opening Night
5 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs in Atlanta
12 – Cubs Home Opener against the Milwaukee Brewers

Will Update Off-Season Calendar throughout winter

Random Cub of the Day

The Yankees traded Dick Tidrow to the Cubs on May 23, 1979 for Ray Burris and was granted free agency following the 1981 season. The Cubs re-signed Dick Tidrow as a free agent on February 19, 1982.

Tidrow ended up being a valuable piece of Cubs history and inadvertently helped them win the 1984 National League Eastern Division Championship. Tidrow was traded to the White Sox on January 25, 1983 along with Randy Martz, Pat Tabler and Scott Fletcher for Warren Brusstar and Steve Trout.

dicktidrow80.jpg

Dick Tidrow’s Page from the Baseball Cube

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Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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